Governing Board Address 5/23/23

Madame la Presidente, members of the board, Chancellor, CEC colleagues, friends and family. I am Dr. Lisa Marsio and am honored to be the Faculty Association President for the 2023-2024 year. I would like to take a moment to thank Dr. Newton for her friendship, leadership, and mentorship over the past year. And for being the Ted Lasso to my Roy Kent!

Rather than saying “good evening” I will greet you with “jambo”.  Jambo is a Swahili greeting that translates as “hi” or “hey”. I use this, not because of its informality, but rather because I cannot help but smile everytime I say it.  “Jambo”.   

And we, as a District, have much to smile about.  Let me name a few.

We have seen enrollments trending up over the past year, and we can be hopeful that this will continue.  

We have launched 7 baccalaureate degrees and over 400 students have already enrolled.

We have saved our students millions of dollars through the innovative use of OER materials and task forces are being developed to look at everything from appropriate course fees to the use of Artificial Intelligence and other innovations in academia. Much to smile about.

We have come together in the partnership of Shared Governance and begun to build a community of collegiality and trust.  For example, Governing Board members, faculty, and staff worked collaboratively, and with lack of status in the room, on a strategic plan to move the Maricopa Community Colleges forward into an increasingly competitive academic world.  Much to smile about.

Perhaps the biggest thing we have to smile about, however, is our students, who continue to honor and humble us with the trust they place in us to be change-agents in their lives for the better.

Over the past two weeks, there has been great movement in the student population at our colleges.  Many, with degrees or credentials in hand, are entering the workforce.  Many, with transfer credits in hand, are matriculating to 4-year universities.  Some, such as the grandparent who took a social media class for their own edification and have mad skills in hand, are now embarrassing friends and family on Tik Tok.  While their goals may vary, they take with them a bit of the Maricopa mystique that binds them together, be it a Scottsdale fighting Artichoke, a South Mountain Cougar or a PC Bear.

Over the next few meetings, I hope to share happenings in the faculty world of Maricopa; more things that bring smiles to our faces such as the continued work in the realm of teaching and learning that continues to occur in the summer.  Stay tuned.

With that, I would like to close tonight with a haiku on semester’s end:

Books close, minds unfurl
Semester’s end, knowledge gained
Paths diverge, growth

Asante Sana (Thank you in Swahili)